Flagler Beach City Hall closed last week after Interim City Manager Robert McFadden and an employee in the building department tested positive for the coronavirus. Late this afternoon, the city announced that its in-person commission meeting scheduled for Thursday was cancelled.
The city got a recommendation from the health department to not hold the meeting as some city officials who may have been exposed to infected personnel are required to be under quarantine until the weekend.
The commission was scheduled to hear the latest in a series of updates on the delayed dunes restoration project planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, discuss the next steps in the city’s search for a new manager to replace the late Larry Newsom, and renew the city’s mask mandate.
The commission was also set to approve its proclamation declaring March 2 Election Day for one commission seat and the mayor’s seat. The commission will hold a virtual meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday just for Mayor Linda Provencher to read the proclamation into the record, which is time-sensitive. “There will be no other formal action taken during the virtual special meeting,” a statement by the city says, though the meeting is expected to be attended by other commissioners, and they may briefly discuss city issues–but neither take action nor give direction to staff.
The proclamation for the elections may be signed by the mayor without a motion by the commission. The agenda had already been trimmed substantially in view of current limitations. Commissioners could have held a full-blown Zoom meeting, as they routinely did during the spring and summer. But Gov. Ron DeSantis, among his many measures eliminating Covid-19 safety measures, let his executive order allowing Zoom meetings expire. While local governments may still hold hybrid meetings, the quorum for an official meeting is required in chambers.
DeSantis has also forbidden local governments from imposing Covid-related restrictions on businesses and on gathering size limits, or from enforcing mask mandates. Flagler Beach’s mask mandate, like Palm Coast’s and Bunnell’s, is not enforceable, though a majority of residents are respecting it as Flagler County has seen its weekly coronavirus case load surge and break records for the past four straight weeks. The county’s cumulative coronavirus case load is well past 4,000, its death tally attributed to the disease is at 51, and there were 26 people hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19 today at AdventHealth Palm Coast, also a record since the beginning of the pandemic.
Flagler Beach City Hall is expected to reopen next week.
On Jan. 14, Flagler Beach City Hall posted the following regarding Thursday’s meeting:
TELEPHONIC AND VIDEO CONFERENCING OF CITY COMMISSION MEETINGS DURING COVID-19 EMERGENCY
POLICY & PROCEDURE:
City Commission meetings will be advertised by an agenda posting on the City’s website (www.cityofflaglerbeach.com) and the full agenda and back up will be posted on http://records.
For regular City Commission meetings agendas will be posted online by 5 pm EST on the Friday before the regular meeting (the current schedule for posting).
NO MOTIONS OR CONSENSUS WILL BE PROPOSED OR REACHED AT THIS MEETING THE SOLE PURPOSE IS FOR THE MAYOR TO READ THE ELECTION PROCLAMATION AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7.02 QUALIFYING OF THE CITY CHARTER. SINCE NO OFFICIAL ACTION IS BEING TAKEN THE SUNSHINE LAWS DO NOT REQUIRE THE TAKING OF PUBLIC COMMENTS.
STARTING A MEETING:
The City Clerk or host designee will establish a meeting using Zoom and invite the Mayor, City Commissioners, City Manager, and City Attorney, as well as any department heads or consultants who may be presenting information or need to provide evidence.
The following settings will apply to the meetings:
1. Everyone’s camera will be set to ‘off,’ and will require them to turn it on themselves when they are comfortable. The City Clerk or host is not able to turn on an individual’s camera.
2. Everyone will be set to “mute.”
3. The City Clerk or host will mute participants and unmute them when they have been recognized by the Chair. To request the floor, a participant simply waves his/her hand. The Chair and City Clerk will remain unmuted so that the Chair can call on participants and they will be unmuted.
4. The meeting will be held in “Speaker,” rather than the “Gallery” view so that the speaker will be highlighted when talking.
5. The City Clerk or host can share their desktop, which will keep participants informed about any meeting PowerPoint that is used.
6. All audio-only participants will be muted and will not be shown on the screen share.
7. View the meeting using the Zoom App from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: click or enter into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.
The video participants will be allowed into the meeting 15 minutes before it starts to ensure there are no technical difficulties. Once any technical difficulties are resolved, audio participants can be moved in as muted and the meeting will be started.
To ensure the public is afforded the maximum opportunity to safely participate during this extraordinary time, in addition to the public comment agenda item (email or voicemail), interested members of the public will have this option to view the meeting.
1.) View the meeting using the Zoom App from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Click https://us02web.zoom.
THE FLAGLER BEACH CITY COMMISSION HAS CANCELLED ITS REGULAR MEETING SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 14, 2021 IN THE COMMISSION CHAMBERS. THE FLAGLER BEACH CITY COMMISSION WILL CONDUCT A VIRTUAL SPECIAL MEETING ON JANUARY 14, 2021 AT 5:30 P.M. USING COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA TECHNOLOGY. NO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WILL BE PERMITTED TO ENTER THE COMMISSION CHAMBERS.
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE FLAGLER BEACH CITY COMMISSION THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021, AT 5:30 P.M.
1. Call the meeting to order.
2. Pledge to the Flag followed by a moment of silence.
3. Election Proclamation:
RECORD REQUIRED TO APPEAL: In accordance with Florida Statute 286.0105 if you should decide to appeal any decision the Commission makes about any matter at this meeting, you will need a record of the proceedings. You are responsible for providing this record. You may hire a court reporter to make a verbatim transcript, or you may buy a CD of the meeting for $3.00 at the City Clerk’s office. Copies of CDs are only made upon request. The City is not responsible for any mechanical failure of the recording equipment.
The City Commission reserves the right to request that all written material be on file with the City Clerk a minimum of three days before the proposed action.